For Immediate Release Wednesday, October 21, 2015
A CBP officer scans a car dashboard with a density meter in Arizona.
Washington, D.C. — Agents of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) in the southwestern United States are unconstitutionally harassing and detaining American citizens, on a fishing expedition for drug busts, sometimes as far as 100 miles from the border.
According to a report by the Arizona ACLU , Border Patrol agents are routinely ‘stopping and searching motorists without justification; threatening residents with assault rifles, Tasers, and knives; destroying and confiscating personal property; interfering with efforts to video-record agents; and using dozens of false alerts by CBP dogs to search and detain innocent people.’
‘Americans should not lose their constitutional rights just because they live within 100 miles of the border,’ said Nicholas Sarwark, Chair of the Libertarian National Committee. ‘Border Patrol should be ordered to stop busting Americans for drugs and to stick to the border.’
The ACLU reports that the CBP is ‘systematically disregarding the law with impunity,’ and that Border Patrol checkpoints are more directed at drug busts than at immigration enforcement. Eighty percent of recorded Border Patrol drug arrests were of U.S. citizens.
‘Not only is Border Patrol grossly overstepping its authority,’ said Sarwark, ‘It is prosecuting the failed War on Drugs, a war that most Americans now realize has been a complete and utter failure.’
The Libertarian Party also calls for reducing restrictions on immigration.
‘Old-party politicians need to stop blaming America’s problems on illegal immigrants, who are not the problem. Big Government is the problem,’ Sarwark said. ‘Make government small. Scale back subsidies and government regulations; downsize the 60,000-strong CBP; and dramatically cut taxes. This will lead to the creation of millions of jobs for both American citizens and anyone willing to come here to work.’
‘We must also end the racist country-of-origin immigration quotas that create illegal immigration,’ he continued. ‘Last year, Mexican non-family entry visas were limited to 26,000, while the waiting list was almost 1.4 million people long.’